Why would anyone do Steampunk?

So why should anyone be interested in Steampunk??   Well, Steampunk & Gothic event guru, Jeff Mach, has the answers for you…and the events to attend to check out this fascinating scene.  Here’s a blog he wrote & allowed me to share with you…

Are there reasons NOT to do Steampunk?  Oh, HECK yes.  Let me give you some.

Young Fashion Woman

First off, it’s ridiculous. An imaginary 19th century which never happened and which we explore in the 21st century? Why in the world would anyone want to do that?

Relatedly, it doesn’t seem to make sense, when you think about it. I mean, when people imagine they’re at a Renaissance Faire, at least there is some degree of hypothetical actual history involved. It’s taken something like 50 years for the modern Renaissance fair to evolve so deeply into something which doesn’t really involve the Renaissance.  It took decades for Renaissance Faires to get to a point where they embody “some sort of point in history where people carried swords; something after the Dark Ages and before the Internal Combustion Engine.  Heck, in my own lifetime, with the coming of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, I’ve seen Renaissance Faires be pretty excited to welcome Pirates of clearly 18th century backgrounds–ie, at LEAST a hundred years after the Renaissnance is acknowledge to have ended.  That’s an impressive (and, to be clear, incredibly fun!) historical innacuracy – but at least it took a really long time.

Steampunk doesn’t have that excuse. How long has Steampunk as we know it been a thing? Eight years? Perhaps 10? I certainly know people who feel they and practicing it longer, but the very least, the Steampunk we see today has existed for less than a decade. It didn’t start out accurate and get weird. It started weird, and got more inaccurate from there.

And at least if this was something like punk rock or Goth or the hippie movement or even, as some claim, just a genre of science fiction literature, we don’t have anything like the hierarchy of those genres!  For example, there may or may not be a top Steampunk band or two. But those are the main reason people discover Steampunk. Is there a topSteampunk author? I think there are many incredible steampunk authors, and some have sold more books than others, and some might have had more influence than others, but I don’t think ANY particular Steampunk author is the creator of the Steampunk we know–certainly K.W. Jeter, who coined the very term, has said repeatedly that he did NOT create the Steampunk we see today.

Famous steampunk makers? We certainly have some. We certainly love their creations. I think I could possibly narrow my own list of the top five Steampunk creators down to… I don’t know, perhaps 10 people, all of whom could lay reasonable claim to being in the top five.  And most of them are actually too modest to say that. And some of the finest creations in Steampunk have absolutely not been made by people who identify as Steampunks–they’re just people who love playing with this culture.

Is Steampunk created by events? Would that mean that the people who run events run Steampunk? I’ll be honest. If you’re reading this, you are probably seeing this on my own website for my own event, or through social media that is related to an event company which bears my name. Do you think that I run Steampunk? I run the world’s largest Steampunk event. Am I in charge? Have you even heard of me?  The answer to the first question is definitely no!  The answer the second question is not definitely “no”…

…but I’m pretty sure that if you took all the people world who identify as Steampunk, and asked them if they know who runs any particular Steampunk events, most of they’d probably be able to answer only for the events they go to or for which they’ve seen advertising.

So why play with, create for, former lifestyle around, experiment with, or otherwise be a part of Steampunk?

The Steampunk World's Fair - "Wonders Untold"

Photos © 2010 – 2016 Babette Daniels Photography Purchase your copy of this image at http://www.babetted.com/Events/Steampunk/SPWF2016

For exactly and precisely each and every one of the reasons above!

Because Steampunk doesn’t have to make sense!  Steampunk doesn’t have to have a leader! Steampunk doesn’t have to be any damn thing at all except a gorgeous 19th century canvas upon which we are throwing all manner of paint, and sketches, and words, and ideas. And what we get out of  something which brings joy and fascination and beauty and community to a world which could choose to be humdrum and mundane and boring.

Let the world be boring?  NEVER!  We make the choice to be precisely the opposite. We are Steampunks!  In fact, each and every one of us IS Steampunk itself. You, right now, are building steampunk just by thinking about it and contributing your presence to this culture, even if all you do is read a few articles and put a few thoughts out into the ether. In fact, people who do that “matter” just as much, in their own way, as people like me whose lifestyle and actual living depend on Steampunk.  Because this isn’t a contest where somebody wins; this is a world-building to make a giant, deeply individual, deeply shared Universe we can call our own.

No masters. No slaves. No rules except the simplest one:

if you want to be a part of Steampunk, you can.

To get info on upcoming events:  http://steampunkworldsfair.com

Steampunk portrait

A look BEHIND THE VEIL

Are you fascinated with the possibility of life after death?  Do you have an interest in ghost hunting? Tarot cards? Other spiritual topics?  If so then the annual BEHIND THE VEIL event in the haunted Elk’s Lodge in East Brunswick, NJ is for you!  The event, that began as Para-X, is scheduled this year for Saturday, Sept. 30th, 11am-6pm (& it’s ONLY $5!!!) & I’m happy to be a part of it.  For more interesting details of how it began and what it’s become are founders and organizers Karen Kimmel Timper & Katharine Clark….

BehindTheVeilFlier2017

The Beginnings…

Behind1 Elk’s Lodge, E. Brunswick, NJ

 

Para X was conceived in 2010 by Karen Timper and her Father Richard Kimmel, who co-founded New Jersey Ghost Organization over 13 years ago. We received permission from the Elks Lodge in East Brunswick, NJ which made perfect sense seeing that the lodge was indeed a haunted location and the group had investigated it on several occasions after hearing numerous accounts of experiences by the lodge members. Proceeds in part help the lodges many endeavors over the years from their Youth Scholarship Committee to Drug awareness mentoring programs.

We took a 2 year hiatus after the first 5 years of running the expo largely due to the groups other projects and obligations, which included writing books for this Father-Daughter duo. Their most recent book, “Folklore of the New Jersey Shore.” Schiffer is their Publisher and this book along with other titles can be found in local Barnes and Noble Bookstores as well as on Amazon.

We’ve been back running the expo going into a second year once again along with Katharine Clark a Wiccan Elder and fellow Author and Lauren Curtis, local artist who is know for her very long fingernails and was featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not book. Having help makes it easier as it is a huge undertaking, sometimes overwhelming, but absolutely rewarding because it brings the Public and the Paranormal together. It’s also a way to get into the spirit of things for the fall season on a lighter note. It’s serious business for local ghost hunters since they don’t charge for their expertise and this gives them a chance to get awareness out to the public. A lot of historical locations fall by the wayside and groups like these can help, as well as helping those families experiencing hauntings get the help they need.

Come see the “Haunted Lodge on the Lake” at 21 Oakmont Avenue in East Brunswick, NJ. There is a secret staircase, a bookcase that turns and more haunting features, right out of a Nancy Drew Mystery Book! Pick up a flyer at the door and find out the history and mystery. You won’t be disappointed.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE EVENT…

Behind2

On the DAY of the Para-X, you will see EXPO signs, especially on Hardenburg Lane, Oakmont Ave., and especially down the driveway leading to the Lodge.

LECTURE TIMES!

12PM: Katharine Clark – Pagan Autumnal Traditions

1PM: Chuck Lehman – An Introduction to Crystal Singing Bowls

2PM: Robert Oberholtzer – Reiki 101 and its (possible?) Beginnings

3PM: Kevin Meares – Ghosts, Demons, and Weirder Spirits: Understanding The Difference

4PM: Justin Bamforth – Preceptions and Deceptions in the Experience

5PM: Chris DiCesare – The C2D1 Haunting

LECTURERS RUN FROM 30 – 45 MINUTES,

SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE

Behind3

MEET a few of the AUTHORS: KAREN TIMPER AND RICHARD KIMMEL & KAT CLARK

BehindKaren

Karen Founded NJGO in 2003. She has been the subject of many news articles, and has appeared on local cable TV, radio and internet radio programs, as well as the Maury Show, over the years. She has co-authored three books with her dad, covering topics from Paranormal Archeology, to Ghosts of Central NJ, to Folklore of the New Jersey Shore.

Not being an easy field, both Ms. Timper and her group continue to move the Paranormal Field in a positive direction. Go to http://www.NJGhostOrg. com for more info on Ms. Timper and New Jersey Ghost Organization.

behindRich

Richard Kimmel is the other half of the father-daughter duo and a professional in his own right. Richard was a Photographer in the Army. He helped his daughter found New Jersey Ghost Organization over 13 years ago, and he continues to do what he does – work with his collections and his books.

Behindkat

Katharine Clark has been the hereditary Elder of the Tutha De Danann Irish Wiccan tradition for over 40 years. She is an award winning poet, a former workshop leader for the National Endowment for the Arts, an Occult Specialist for sever local police departments, and a Tarot instructor.  She is the former Circle leader at Earth Spirit New Age Center in Red Bank NJ.

Her first book, “An Irish Book of Shadows”, contains the ritual system of the TDD, along with coven structure, and an extensive compendium of Irish gods and their correlations. Her second book, “Things Your Elders Never Told You”, is a humorous look at growing up Wiccan. It also contains insights that are learned at the knee of a teacher, but missing from modern Wiccan instruction. Her works have been endorsed by Dan and Pauline Campanelli, Raymond Buckland, and Rosemary Ellen Guiley.

Along with Natalie Zaman, she is the co-creator of the “Graven Images Oracle” deck. It is not only available as a book and deck set, but also as an application for iphone, Android, etc. Come to her table to try a sample reading!

And there’s more…more authors, experts & alternative artisans & craft-persons, including yours truly (Lauren Curtis Art) who will be exhibiting & selling our wares. So join us for this mystical, magickal event!! And if you’re interested in vending please contact Kat at  katrclark@yahoo.com 

See you there!!

Steampunk called him home…

Have you ever felt that you were born in the wrong time or era?  Are you very creative and eclectic?  Do you have a fondness for fantasy and sci-fi?  If so then you are like many of us who have discovered the magic of the Steampunk Culture!  One person who felt the call to “go home” to Steampunk in a big way is Jeff Mach!  I met Jeff several years ago when he was planning his first Steampunk World’s Fair event in Central NJ….it took over a large room in a corporate hotel and has now expanded to a 3 day extravaganza, often taking over two complete corporate hotels, with hundreds  of cosplayers, artisans, vendors, musicians and those that want to just be a part of the spectacle!

Goth Girl

Goth Girl

As you may or may not know, Steampunk combines sci-fi with the Victorian Era, so fantastical contraptions are created as if solely fired by steam power.  Elements of Goth, fantasy and anime can be found as well.  Here’s a taste of what Jeff’s events bring…  https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkTendencies/videos/1317398068374556/?pnref=story

And in his own words, here’s a bit about what drew him to all this madness: 

3D computer graphics of a cyborg woman with a headdress in science fiction style

There’s a simple goal I have for every Jeff Mach Event: I make weekend-long homes for unusual people.

What does that mean?
The second martial arts school I attended was literally in the back of an alley, up a long flight of stairs. And leading to the school door, there was a pair of signs. The first was a standard martial-arts school notice, “Please remove shoes”. This simple act gave a physical reminder that I was leaving one place—“the street”—and stepping into a different world, with different rules.
The second was at the top of the stairs. “You are entering a traditional karate dojo. Please act accordingly”.
How did one “act accordingly”? I knew many common rules and practices—I also knew that every school I had seen had its own style, rules, approach. What was proper in one school might be utterly wrong in another.
Yet the practical value of that sign was enormous. It always gave me pause, called to my mind all of my associations with training grounds, what I learned there, and who and what those things made me. “Act accordingly”: know what you have come to do, know what you are doing, at least in your own mind. Or, at the barest minimum, recognize in your gut that you’ve come to a place where things are different. Don’t just take that difference passively, when it enters your space; make it a part of your consciousness.
And thus. And so.
You’ve entered our world, a place where we belong, a place where we are not the outsiders, a place where what we do matters, is meaningful, is real, and we are NOT the only ones who know it.
Steampunk, Rocky Horror, Renaissance Faires, Geeky spaces; it doesn’t matter.
Leave the outside world for outsiders.
We bring our homes with us, inside us, we foster them with love and passion.  We’re different–not better, just not the same–and sometimes, we realize: we are not alone.
And that place?  That place is home.
The next Steampunk World’s Fair is May 5-7, 2017 in Central NJ….here’s where you can find all the info & tickets:  www.SteampunkWorldsFair.com

Celebrating NJ through photography

Keansburg Beach (c)July2013 Lauren Curtis

It’s been the brunt of jokes many times but I’ve said it before…New Jersey is truly a pretty awesome, diverse state and not just a compilation of highway exits and landfill sites.  While there are areas that are less than pleasant, much of The Garden State does live up to this name as we have such a wide variety of terrain in such a small state; mountains, beach, cities, suburbs, farmland, historical sites and more.  This is why I’m proud to honor my home state through photography!  This month (Nov., 2015) I have a photo in the New Brunswick Photography Competition taking place 11/13/15 (Friday the 13th is a lucky day for me so who knows..maybe my piece will win an award??) at the New Brunswick Free Public Library on Livingston Ave.  The opening reception, open to the public..and free..will be 6pm-8pm.  Award winning photos will then be on display at The George Street Playhouse & Crossroads Theater, both in New Brunswick, NJ.

I’m also very excited to have a SOLO NJ Photography Exhibition at OQ Cafe Gallery in Highland Park, NJ! I’ll have hand printed 35mm photos among many other images that depict the history and diversity of The Garden State. This show has an opening reception Friday, 11/20/15, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, refreshments served & cafe items for sale. 13 South 3rd Ave., Highland Park, NJ. 732-455-2994. FREE EVENT! Feel free to bring friends and family! Original matted prints & greeting cards will be for sale the night of the reception…great for holiday gifts!
Show runs thru 1/31/2016.  Here’s a teaser of some of the images in this show….

Grounds For Sculpture (c)July2014

Grounds For Sculpture (c)July2014

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

Cross Estate Urn, (c)May2015

Cross Estate Urn, (c)May2015

Here’s the Facebook invite link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1635160093417892/

Please feel free to share it and invite friends and I hope to see you at these events if you’re in the Central NJ area!

~Lauren

THE NEED FOR EDITORS

Author/editor Kathryn Nevin & her adorable dog Emmie Lou

As an illustrator, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many authors and publishers, so I know about the importance of editing. One of my most recent clients (and now friend) is the talented Kathryn Nevin (we’re doing a children’s book about her adorable dog Emmie Lou!), who is both an author and professional editor.  But being I’m the artist and not the writer, I’ve asked Kathryn to share her views on the need for good editing.  Here’s her words about your words….

Author/editor Kathryn Nevin & her adorable dog Emmie Lou

Author/editor Kathryn Nevin & her adorable dog Emmie Lou

THE NEED FOR EDITORS

by KATHRYN NEVIN

Lately I’ve been interested in polling internet literature regarding the art of editing. Despite the outright dearth of related articles, what does exist seems to suggest that editorial review is not always necessary, complete with a whole range of tips on “do it yourself” editing. If you’re a good enough writer, most articles suggest, then you just don’t need an editor. Multiple programs to catch spelling and even grammatical errors litter the market. Although the reasons for hiring a professional editor vary, here are three good reasons to seek out editorial review: missing words, extra words, and repeated sentences. No matter how polished the writer, these blunders happen, and that’s where the human touch of editorial services comes in. You simply can’t turn in any document without having it professionally checked by a real-life person. Imagine your chagrin at missing something as simple as a cut and paste error! Imagine losing that job interview or scholarship over simple mistakes.

In addition, only a human reader is qualified to assess meaning. The author knows what she means to say, but does the reader? It’s easy to think we are communicating what we mean to say when we’ve been mulling it over and writing about it for hours or days. But is what you mean to say really coming across? Whether I’m a student or a business magnate, I aim to be understood. It’s crucial to my academic success. It’s paramount to my marketing campaign. I want people to get my message and I want to be sure the message is clear. If my reader grapples with any confusion as to why my notion or product can help them, it’s just not going to sell. I can run my message through spell check and a number of other programs, but the bottom line is: meaning requires human response. There’s just no getting around it. Editors are vital to the writing process and finished product. Without us, you may never know the power and the glory of an author’s intentions.

My online editing business, Eagle-Eye Editing, ensures that these mistakes and blunders will be caught. In addition to correcting spelling and grammatical errors, I have a particular ability to: – clean up clumsy sentence structure – simplify lengthy passages into clear, concise text – transform passive or stilted language into lively, active prose – ensure textual consistency, providing an even flow and tone of language.

Editing, then, is not just about catching mistakes. It’s also about refining and finessing language so that your particular voice as a writer can sail through clearly. My precision-driven style does all of the above, providing exceptional results. I work fast, but with great attention to detail, and always with an eye to achieving your goals.

I’m always happy to provide you with a resume, reviews, and a sample edit of your work to make sure you feel confident about using my service. To reach me, simply send an email to: klnproofer@gmail.com or if you prefer to call, my number is 302-384-3424. And be sure to catch me online at: http://www.facebook.com/eagle.editing. I look forward to working with you!

Best Regards,

Kathryn Nevin, MSW

Sneak peak to the up-coming children’s book Kathryn & I are doing…

My Name Is Emmie Lou (c)2015

My Name Is Emmie Lou (c)2015

EmmieLouCoverJune2015sm

Autumn Art and Halloween Happenings

Xray NiteRoot Creature (c)2014

Autumn is upon us (despite unusually warm temps in NJ) and with it comes the beautiful, bright colors of the leaves and crisp, sunny days perfect for outdoor festivals…and of course, the haunting, mysterious time that is Halloween!  All these factors have come together this month for some seasonal art events and festivities that I’m excited to be a part of….

“Something Wicked This Way Comes”,
Group Art Exhibition

Xray NiteRoot Creature (c)2014

Xray NiteRoot Creature (c)2014


Celebrate the Autumn & Halloween season artistically at GALLERY U!  I’ll have the above digital photo collage in this hauntingly exciting art show & masquerade party…costumes encouraged!  FREE event, refreshments served. This show has an opening reception party Fri.. 10/30/15, 6pm-8pm, Gallery U, 439 South Ave. Westfield, NJ  07090.  908-232-1895
Show runs thru 11/30/15.

MORE FALL ART FESTS & EVENTS in NEW JERSEY

vending tent

vending tent

Join me for these FREE arts & music fests & other art events this October!  Fun for the whole family with local artists, crafters and other vendors, music, food and more!

CANAL FEST, Sat., 10/17/15, 11am – 5pm.  Market Street, East Millstone, NJ by the D&R Canal.

BrainFlower (c)Lauren Curtis Sept.2012 Digital Photo Collage

BrainFlower (c)Lauren Curtis Sept.2012
Digital Photo Collage

NATURE SOOTHES, NATURE RESTORES, NATURE HEALS, group photography exhibit and D&R Land Trust educational events, D&R Greenway Landtrust Gallery (Johnson Education Center), Princeton, NJ.  Opening Wed. 10/28/15, 6:30-7:30pm. Show runs thru Nov. 6.  I’ll have 2 digital photo collages in this show.

And last but certainly not least…I have work in these shows as well….

New Brunswick NJ Photography Show at the historic Free Public Library, Livingston Ave., opening reception Fri. 11/13/1, 6pm.

“Naked in New Hope”,  A Group Exhibition
Group exhibition at Sidetracks Gallery, 10 Stockton Ave., New Hope, PA, 215.862.4586
Opening reception Saturday., Sept. 12, 2015, 6pm-9pm. Free event.
I have 2 x-ray pieces in this show.  Show runs thru Oct. 31, 2015.

“EarthAirFireWater: elements/sacraments‏” , group show at Nails in the Wall Gallery,
St. Luke’s Church, Metuchen, NJ.  Opening reception Sat. Sept. 19,  2pm-5pm. Show runs through Dec. 2015.
I have a mixed media piece in this show.

As always, thanks so much for reading!
~Lauren

Worldly Art; German TV debut, Naked Exhibit & more!

Guardian Of The Elements, mixed media (c)Lauren Curtis

It’s great not only to be able to connect with local artists but with creatives from other states and countries as well!  I’m sure many of you out there, with the ease of social media and the internet, have been viewing artistic works of all types from across the globe now more than ever, and for those of you that create your own, you’ve probably been enjoying sharing your work with the world as well!  Even though keeping up with online sites and content can be exhausting it is also so helpful when trying to launch or expand a career, especially a visual one like fine art and design. So I’m happy to share this news with you about some US & European projects I’ve been involved with….

“Naked In New Hope” poster

“Naked in New Hope”,
Group exhibition at Sidetracks Gallery, 10 Stockton Ave., New Hope, PA, 215.862.4586
Opening reception Saturday., Sept. 12, 2015, 6pm-9pm. Free event.
I have 2 x-ray pieces in this show.  Show runs thru Oct. 31, 2015.

Guardian Of The Elements, mixed media (c)Lauren Curtis

Guardian Of The Elements, mixed media (c)Lauren Curtis

“EarthAirFireWater: elements/sacraments‏” , group show at Nails in the Wall Gallery, 17 Oak Ave., St. Luke’s Church, Metuchen, NJ.
Opening reception Sat. Sept. 19,  2pm-5pm. Show runs through Dec. 2015.
I have a mixed media piece in this show.

I’ll also be vending at many NJ free outdoor art fests…next one will be Sunday Sept. 20th, Highland Park, NJ Arts in the Park fest, Raritan Ave., 10am-4pm.

XRAYted Book 2 (c)July2015

XRAYted Book 2 (c)July2015

OTHER COOL ART NEWS…
Thanks to the magic of self-publishing I’ve just completed my 4th art book; this one features original x-ray based, mixed media pieces! Full color, glossy 20 pg. 8″x8″ hard cover signed books, just $35 + s/h. Here’s a preview (see pic above)…Paypal accepted.  To order email me at forestwalker333@hotmail.com

And finally the big news!  I made my European TV debut last month and was featured on a German entertainment/cultural show!!  They filmed at my home and other local places…was a very unique experience.  Here’s where you can check it out..of course my crazy nails were the focus but my art is shows as well!  https://vimeo.com/133715051
Even if you don’t speak German you’ll get the gist…

European TV debut & other exciting art news!

MelodyBar2 (c)May2015

HAPPY 4th OF JULY WEEKEND to all of you in the US & happy weekend to those elsewhere!!  Holidays…and often weekends in general…are a time to celebrate but this time I have even more reason to do so as I have some exciting news… I’ll be on TV again!! Recently I was contacted by a German TV show producer to be in an up-coming episode of their well-known cultural entertainment show that airs in Germany & other parts of Europe! We filmed all day a few weeks ago & I’m now waiting for the show to air (hopefully this month!). The episode features my long, “living sculpture” nails as well as my artwork & I’m so excited for this great opportunity! I’ll post more details as I get them as well as any links there may be to view the episode…stay tuned!!

Lauren By Forrest

Lauren By Forrest

And more exciting art news & events; “FOTOGRAPHIA” Photography exhibition at Gallery U, 439 South Ave W in Westfield. (908) 232-1895. Opening reception Friday., July 3, 2015, 6pm-8pm. Free event. I have the digital photograph below in this show.  Show runs thru July 31, 2015 & features photography from many talented area artists.

Nola Gothic Church (c)Lauren Curtis

Nola Gothic Church (c)Lauren Curtis

New Fine Art Commissions Creating special, commissioned artwork for collectors is really enjoyable especially when the images bring back fond memories of their favorite places to hang out & sometimes they even found love there too! Such is the case for the gone-but-not-forgotten Melody Bar that was in New Brunswick, NJ! This was a regular hangout of mine so it’s been so much fun creating several original pen & ink with watercolor commissions for others who found this place special.  If you have a place you’d like immortalized thru art, contact me for commission info.!

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

Melody Bar Art (c)2015 Lauren Curtis

MelodyBar2May2015 And, being it’s officially Summer….It’s T-SHIRT time again!!  You can wear my art on 100% pre-shrunk cotton T’s! Many unique designs on black, white or gray shirts, $20-$35 each +s/h depending on size & color.  All sizes from kids to XXL!  Contact me for details & to order.  Paypal accepted!  forestwalker333@hotmail.com

T-shirt/card design Flyer

T-shirt/card design Flyer

Art Blooms in June; New Exhibits & News

Cross Estate Urn, (c)May2015

Happy June All!  Here in NJ plants are full and green, flowers are blooming and summer is only a few weeks away!  With this comes fun, free outdoor art fests as well as new gallery exhibits so if you’re in the area, I hope you’ll add these events to your list of things-to-do this month!

Gallery U; Litill Flier & Press Release May 2015

Gallery U; Litill Flier & Press Release May 2015

GalleryU_LitillFlierJune2015


“Litill” Small Works Group Exhibition at Gallery U
, 439 South Ave W in Westfield. (908) 232-1895.
Opening reception Friday., June 5, 6pm-8pm. Free event.
I have two mixed media pieces in this show.  Show runs thru June 29, 2015.

Cross Estate Urn, (c)May2015

Cross Estate Urn, (c)May2015

East Brunswick, NJ Fine Art Fest
I’ll have a booth in this annual fine arts event located surrounding the pond at the Municipal Complex by Dunhame Corner Rd., East Brunswick, NJ.  FREE outdoor event for the whole family!  Saturday, June 6th (rain date Sun., June 7th) Food available for purchase.
Aside from my fine art photography I’ll also be selling my original jewelry, t-shirts & greeting cards!  Come by for a  fun day with many local artists!

Mystics, Mourners, Dreams Book (c)Mar2015

Mystics, Mourners, Dreams Book (c)Mar2015

OTHER COOL ART NEWS…
Thanks to the magic of self-publishing I’ve just completed my 3rd art book; this one features original paintings & mixed media pieces! Full color, glossy 20 pg. 8″x8″ hard cover signed books, just $50 + $5 s/h (in continental US). Here’s a preview (see pic above)…Paypal accepted.  To order email me at forestwalker333@hotmail.com

Thanks for reading!  🙂

NJ Isn’t Boring, Ireland Art Exhibition & more

Ireland; Blarney Castle (c)Lauren Curtis

Spring is almost upon us, even though the NJ weather doesn’t always agree, but wherever you are I hope you’ll take a minute to read about these exciting art events and if you are in the area, please visit these exhibitions & enjoy the art of spring!

Carnival, NJ June2011

Carnival, NJ June2011

New Jersey Isn’t Boring!
Group Show at Arts Guild New Jersey
1670 Irving St.,  Rahway, NJ
Opening reception Sun. March 22, 1pm-4pm. 

See what makes NJ so unique and definitely NOT boring!  Artwork of all types from many local artists. Show runs thru April 16, 2015.
I have two digital photos  in this show.

Ireland; Blarney Castle (c)Lauren Curtis

Ireland; Blarney Castle (c)Lauren Curtis

Savor the Arts; Ireland Exhibition, Group Exhibit, Middlletown Arts Center
36 Church St., Middletown, NJ

Opening Reception, Fri. March 20, 7pm-9pm.
Join this artistic celebration of Irish culture!  Show runs thru April 18, 2015
I have the above photo in this exhibit.

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Revelation/Revolution
Group art exhibition at Nails in the Wall Gallery, St. Luke’s Church, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen NJ.  I have 2 paintings in this current exhibit that will be up until May 31, 2015.  Visit this eclectic, spiritual gallery to view work from local, national and international artists!

"Necropolis", digital photo collage (c)Lauren Curtis

“Necropolis”, digital photo collage (c)Lauren Curtis

Spirit of the Human Family
Group Exhibition at the Linda Grandis Blatt Gallery, Temple B’nai Or, 60 Overlook Rd., Morristown, NJ.  Spiritual and artistic views on the meaning of family, this show runs thru April 10, 2015.  I have 3 pieces in this exhibition.

Your History is Your Personal Story

Just Judy, novel, cover design by Lauren Curtis

One of the best things about being a full time freelance artist is creating work for some talented clients from across the globe!  Some of my favorite clients to work with are authors as it’s very cool to bring someone’s story to life with artwork!  I recently designed a book cover for author “Just Judy” and when we started chatting about what we do, I found her own story so interesting, I invited her to be a guest blogger here….aside from her novels she also compiles stories based on people’s actual family histories and creates unique books just for them!  Below she shares her inspiration with us about this fascinating project and included is her contact info. if you’d like to have this done for yourself and your own family…..

JUST JUDY; author, personal historian

JUST JUDY; author, personal historian

Personal History and the Circle of Life

Imagine a special shelf on your bookcase, displaying a few old, faded cloth covers with frayed corners, the packages of words written by your grandmother, or grandfather, or better yet, both. There would be pages filled with their stories of life’s pivotal moments and challenges, their anecdotes of parenthood, a short section for favorite family recipes, and maybe a remembrance of the day you were born: “We became grandparents today,” one would joyously announce. And, there would be pictures, just a few, of times long gone, before the days of images in color. The infant, you, may be sitting in a bassinet in front of your parents. Behind would be two stolid, stone-faced seniors, unfamiliar with this newfangled device called a camera, hiding the wide grin they wear within.

For me, words are music to my soul and art makes my spirit soar. A day spent reading such old cloth covered books would bring a warmth of emotion and a strong sense of what it means to be me and from whence I come. The record of one’s life is a gift that lasts and in the writing of it we gain perspective and strengthen our feeling of self within the larger picture of life.

It’s not all about us. It never was. Every writer of a personal history starts out with information of others, their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles. We come from a fountain and from us flows new beings. There seems to be no end to this circle of life?

JUST JUDY;  Holy Joe

JUST JUDY; Holy Joe

I am a personal historian. This is a new gig for me. I’ve always been a reader and writer, but now I am hooked on life story. I help people mine their memories and record and arrange these images in a logical order. When the writing is complete, we are left with a unique package, so I help coordinate the cover art and short-run printer. Mostly, I keep the project on track and see it through to completion. I know that every life has a story to tell, and the world needs such stories.

If you leave this reading with a mental image of your own special bookshelf and awareness that there is such a thing as a personal historian, then I will be satisfied. There aren’t many of us; six-hundred-fifty members worldwide. But, we are growing. Not everyone is a writer, but everyone has a story to tell. I’m truly excited about this new career. It’s another expression of art and a mode for celebrating and preserving life.

Just Judy, novel, cover design by Lauren Curtis

Just Judy, novel, cover design by Lauren Curtis

Just Judy, Personal Historian (justjudy4@gmail.com)

Just Judy, Keepers of History (keepersofhistory.com)

Nationwide: The Association of Personal Historians (personalhistorians.org)

Nevermore Play Portrays Poe in Gothic Stlye

NEVERMORE play

Hello arts supporters, creators and fans!  I don’t often promote events here other than art exhibitions, but when I heard about this new Off-Broadway play, I knew it’d be something I’d like to see and that many of you readers, especially those interested in the Gothic culture, would be interested in!   So, for all of you Edgar Allan Poe fans, and those fascinated, like I am, by the whole macabre, Victorian literary style, here’s a play for you…and information on how to get tickets as a discounted price!  Maybe I’ll see you at the play….??

NEVERMORE
THE IMAGINARY LIFE & MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF EDGAR ALLAN POE
“EXQUISITELY STYLISH…A GOTHIC FANTASIA!” – The New York Times
“4 Stars!”- The London Telegraph
“A MASTERPIECE!” – Londonist
“STARTLING, BEAUTIFUL & HAUNTING!” – TheaterMania
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A SHOW UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU’VE SEEN BEFORE
Dark and dazzling, bizarre and beautiful, Nevermore – The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe tells the strange and fascinating story of the iconic American writer. Through stunning stagecraft and haunting music, the visions and dreams audiences see on this New York stage create a unique theatrical experience within the world of Poe’s macabre life and imagination.
NEVERMORE play

NEVERMORE play

“THEATRICAL GENIUS! REMINDS YOU OF TIM BURTON GONE WILD.”
– Calgary Herald
SNEAK PEAK INTO THE WORLD OF NEVERMORE: http://nevermoreshow.com/nmnws115
Mon, Fri-Sun: Front Orchestra & Mezz – $66.00 (reg. $95)
Mon, Fri-Sun: Rear Orchestra & Mezz – $49.00 (reg. $75)
Wed & Thurs: All regular price tickets – $39.00 (reg. $95)
BUY YOUR TICKETS:
ONLINE: TelechargeOffers.com and use code NMLSP115
PHONE: 212.947.8844 and mention code NMLSP115
BOX OFFICE: New World Stages 340 W 50th Street (btwn 8th and 9th Ave.)
PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE – Mon 7pm, Wed 8pm, Thur  2:30PM & 8PM, Fri 8PM, Sat 2:30PM & 8PM, Sun 3PM

*Expires 03/29/15. Tickets regularly $75-$95. All prices include $2 Facility Fee. Blackout dates may apply. All sales are final – no refunds or exchanges. Offer subject to availability and prior sale. Not valid in combination with any other sale or on previously purchased tickets. Normal service charges apply to phone and internet orders. Cast and Schedule subject to change. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice. Limit 10 tickets per order. Valid on select seat locations only. Logo Design by Kurt Firla. Photography by David Cooper.

The freelance work search

Watercolor illustration for a client from a freelance job site.

So, you’ve decided to make art your full time career but aside from people you know, how do you go about finding new clients?  Well, I’m a member of just about every freelance job site that posts art related jobs and I’m now in the process of updating all those profiles…a job in itself….and applying for more work.  It’s very tough and very competitive, with the big problem of people WAY under bidding and under valuing their work just to get jobs…this doesn’t help any of us!  It devalues what we do and perpetuates the stigma of the “poor artist”.  Art is valuable and serves a great purpose in promoting businesses and products, portraying an author’s ideas,  giving life and an image to just about anything….so, I look forward to bidding my face off and gaining new clients…and providing the best work possible!  You can find me on many freelance job sites or check out my illustration and design work on http://laurencurtis.imagekind.com/   Feel free to contact me for more info!

LOVE for art in February

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

Time to show some LOVE for art this February!  And there are many ways to do this, especially if you’re in the New Jersey area.   I have paintings, mixed media and photography pieces exhibiting in several locations this month, along with other talented local artists as well as those from across the US…and all these events are FREE to attend!  What a great way to spend the month of love!  Here’s the details: 1. SPIRIT OF THE HUMAN FAMILY, group exhibition, Linda Grandis Blatt Gallery at Temple B’nai Or, 60 Overlook Road, Morristown, NJ 07960, opening reception Sunday 2/8/15, 2-5pm.  See postcard above for more details.

SpiritHumanFamilyPostcardJan2015

SpiritHumanFamilyPostcardJan2015

2. TWO ARTIST EXHIBIT; ART OF NEW BRUNSWICK.  I have several 35mm B&W and color digital photos in this exhibit in the Mayor’s Office in New Brunswick NJ’s City Hall,  78 Bayard Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 732-745-5004  Opening reception to be announced and the work will be on view by 2/1/15, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

New Brunswick Master (c)L.Curtis

3. REVELATION/REVOLUTION, group exhibition runs thru the end of April and is now on display at the Nails in the Wall gallery in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 17 Oak. Ave., Metuchen, NJ.  I have 2 mixed media paintings here, including the one below, “Omen”.

Omen (c)2011 Lauren Curtis

Omen (c)2011 Lauren Curtis, oil painting with decoupage

4. I have several color,  nature photographs, including the one below,  published in the new book

The Raritan River: Our Landscape Our Legacy Limited edition!  To order your copy:
(c)2012 Funguslace, Digital photo

(c)2012 Funguslace, Digital photo

Please feel free to contact me by responding to this blog, or via my websites, with any questions about these exhibits or my work! Enjoy the art & take care, Lauren http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com  (NEW fine art site!) https://laurencurtis.wordpress.com  (my Blog)                                http://www.facebook.com/LaurenCurtisArtTalonArt (Facebook Fine Art Page) http://www.LaurenCurtisArt.com (commercial & fine art)  http://laurencurtis.imagekind.com/ (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration)          https://twitter.com/LaurenCurtisArt (now on Twitter)

Artful Wishes for a New Year!

Dream Of Trees 2, oils (c)Lauren Curtis

HAPPY, HEALTHY & PROSPEROUS New Year’s Wishes to you!  Whether you venture out or stay in to celebrate the beginning of 2015, I hope you enjoy yourself & ring in the new year right!  May your creative side come out in full force in a positive way!

I’m starting of 2015 with some exciting gallery exhibits & freelance work, so here’s the scoop…if you’re in NJ, I hope you can join me at these art openings:

DRAMATIC SKIES 2015, group exhibition, Gourgaud Gallery, 23A North Main St. (in Town Hall Bldg.), Cranbury, NJ.  Opening reception Sunday 1/4/15, 1pm-3pm, refreshments served.  Show runs thru 1/25/15.

Dream Of Trees 2, oils (c)Lauren Curtis

Dream Of Trees 2, oils (c)Lauren Curtis


REVELATION/REVOLUTION  group exhibit, Nails in the Wall Gallery (in St. Luke’s Church), 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen, NJ. Opening reception, Saturday, 1/24/15 (time TBA but most likely around 3pm). Show will be up for several months.  

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

Reminisce (c)2013, watercolor and collage

I also have an art article in the holiday issue of WILD SISTER MAGAZINE!  To check it out, here’s the link:  http://wildsister.com/latest-issue/

Finally, I’ve been getting some really fun freelance commission work like children’s book illustration and pet portraits…2 of my latest creations are below & click on the links to my art sites for more!

Children's Book Illustration, Oct2014

Children’s Book Illustration, Oct2014

Pet Portrait, pen & ink w/ watercolors, Dec2014

Pet Portrait, pen & ink w/ watercolors, Dec2014


Hope to see you at an exhibition &/or online.  Have a wonderful, art-filled New Year!!
~Lauren

http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com  (NEW fine art site!)
https://laurencurtis.wordpress.com  (my Blog)
http://www.facebook.com/LaurenCurtisArtTalonArt (Facebook Fine Art Page)
http://www.LaurenCurtisArt.com (commercial & fine art) 
http://www.laurencurtis.imagekind.com (cards, T-shirts, photography, illustration)

https://twitter.com/LaurenCurtisArt (now on Twitter)

Goth comes back to life in NJ

Goth Girl
Some of you may remember the Gothic sub-cultural movement of the 80’s….to me it was a heyday for music, fashion, art, literature and more…with roots stretching as far back as Victorian England, to 70’s punk & a romantic way to rebel against the mainstream, Goth became a major genre & continues on today…it waned for a while but has been making a huge comeback & Steampunk Convention guru, Jeff Mach has joined forces with Gothic networking powerhouse VampireFreaks to create a brand new event….
Dark Side of the Con asks the simplest question:  Why aren’t there any weekend-long Goth/Dark Alternative events in the US anymore?

Answer: Dark Side of the Con…an Underground Event for meeting alternative-minded people; A Three Day Gothic, Dark Alternative Festival and Convention in New Jersey!

Jeff Mach says:  I’ve had the good fortune to run into Jet from VampireFreaks a few times as I’ve run around doing The Steampunk World’s Fair and Glimmerdark and Wicked Faire and our other events.  He’s such a great guy, and his team is pretty marvelous to work with.  And VampireFreaks has helped us put together such an incredible weekend.
I mean, we’ve got Voltaire, we’ve got Xentrifgue, The Amatory Murder, Nigel from Platform One, and a whole slew of panels.  We’ve a hundred vendors, and marvelous drink specials.  And, of course, we’ve got dance parties to suit every taste, running until the wee hours.
We’re working with our favorite hotel, the Radisson of Piscataway.  I look forward to seeing everyone there!
Here’s a bit more info from the event site:

St Patrick’s Weekend – for 3 Days we take over the beautiful Radisson Hotel in Piscataway, NJ and provide you with an escape to socialize, make new friends and create new experiences.

To show our support for independent businesses and alternative culture, we will have a wide variety of unique and unusual vendors, catering to all your dark needs.

For your entertainment pleasure we bring you a host of events, entertainers, panels and activities.

Sponsored by VampireFreaks and Jeff Mach Events, both companies have an impressive history of hosting events and bringing people together in the dark alternative scenes.

The very preliminary schedule is up; check out all the cool things we have going on!

Here are the links:

www.darksideofthecon.com for info, darksideofthecon.com/tickets/ for tickets, and https://www.facebook.com/events/199366893801128/ to follow on FB, and http://vampirefreaks.com/cult/DarkSideOfTheCon on VampireFreaks.

Honoring an Artist’s Wild Spirit

It’s so important that artists & creatives support each other!  Although my long-time friend, Australian artist Lina Eve, & I are literally across the globe from each other we have stayed in touch and supported each other’s work.  Aside from being an amazing painter, Lina is a talented film maker and writer and is now trying to fund a YouTube project that honors a true artist’s wild spirit, Vali Myers (1930-2003).  Lina introduced me to the inspiring and bold work of this way-too-overlooked, unique soul years ago and now she wants to share Vali’s artistic legacy with the world, so please read on about this fascinating project and visit the link for more info and to find out how you can help make Lina’s dream a reality!
Lina Eve:  for my talented and lovely friend, Lauren Curtis
1999: Whilst browsing one of my favorite 2nd hand bookshops, I chanced upon Vali’s beautiful book of paintings and writing titled , “Vali Myers”.  A day or so after this rare and fabulous find, I heard Vali being interviewed on ABC Radio National.  Her unique Aussie accent, her raw and earthy take on life, combined with the amazing artwork in her book, had me toasting her talent and fierce honesty.
Vali and I eventually met in her studio in Melbourne some months later.
We had only exchanged a few letters and chatted on the phone, 
but when we met there was instant rapport. She introduced me to the Turkish spirit Raki, and we got pretty legless on it.  At least I did.  Vali would have been able to drink most people under the table! Spending glorious afternoons with Vali, filling our glasses and talking about everything under the sun became my ritual every time I traveled to Melbourne from then on. “
lina-eve-vali-myers
(Lina, left…Vali, right)
“Vali died in 2003 and although she had a loyal following of fans, her work is largely unknown around the world. Vali’s work is highly personal, and therefore, like other amazing women artists, was not picked up by the media for the truly unique art it is.  Now I’m  trying to raise funds towards a YouTube tribute video about Vali  …..a beautiful friend, who created a whole world of powerful and magical art.”
valis-moby-dick
                                                            “Moby Dick” (c)Vali Myers
Wikipedia:    “Vali Myers (2 August 1930 – 12 February 2003) 
was an Australian visionary artist, dancer, bohemian and muse whose coverage by the media was mostly in the decades of the 1950s and 1960s in Europe and the United States.”
I’m now collecting permission from the photographers  of my favourite portraits of her, and already have permission ( from the Vali Myers Trust) to use all her images for the video
If you can help with a donation, that would be wonderful and if you could also please pass on my Go fund me link, it would be very, very much appreciated!
  “Vali Myers : Wild Spirit”

A Beautiful & Powerful Art Exhibit

“Beautiful and Powerful Statements” is an art exhibit featuring the arts of calligraphy and re-purposed materials.  It opens Saturday, January 28, 2-5pm at Nails in the Wall, the Gallery at St. Luke’s, 17 Oak Ave., Metuchen.  The exhibit includes nearly 70 pieces in many media, from photography and video to fabric, ceramic and glass as well as all manner of re-purposed materials. Work from all over the U.S. and as far away as Israel is included in this show, along with the work of New Jersey artists. The approach to calligraphy was a very broad one and was open to any work that was text-predominant. That has allowed us to include not only work with elegant traditional calligraphy in many diverse languages, but other pieces that are very powerful and direct. “Anatolia” by Woodbridge, NJ artist Gozde Ture includes a quotation from the Orkhon Inscriptions with calligraphy in the Goturk alphabet that speaks about time. Ruth Schreiber’s works, from Israel, while connected to the Hebrew Scriptures, employ a “fantasy writing” using porcelain and other images. And California calligrapher Beverly Womack creates her work using layers of materials and images. The photography-based altered prints of East Orange artist, Onnie Strother, on the other hand, use bold text to speak directly to their viewer, and Georgia-based Craig Wilson’s almost stream-of-consciousness words dance all over the page. The art from “repurposed materials” makes their statements by way of the material itself…employing everything from actual bees and beeswax as Montclair artist Art Paxton does in “Buzz”, to the steampunk-related cast-offs used by NY artist and teacher Seth Apter, and another Steampunk influenced 3D piece by Lauren Curtis, as well as a piece by  Metuchen artist Amy Brooks in her work “Post-Truth Apocalypse”. “We were sought to incorporate in the show work featuring calligraphy or text that made, individually and collectively, a powerful statement. We were also interested that the work accepted using re-purposed materials had an inherent, accessible beauty. We were constantly weighing those two interests as we reviewed the work and decided what would fit well in this show, so that each piece really was appropriately “Beautiful and Powerful, “ noted Gallery Board Member Robert Hopkins. The Opening will be carried by Facebook Live, beginning around 2:30pm. This will be especially helpful for the artists who live great distances. It will allow anyone who wishes to log on to the Nails in the Wall Gallery FB page and interact with the visitors present at the gallery. Nails in the Wall is in the midst of its fifth year presenting international, interfaith exhibits of high-quality fine art. To learn more about the gallery, visit www.nailsinthewall.org or call the Director 732.322.6512.  Link to the Facebook invite:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1765730973753205/

steampunkboxfeb2012

I’ll have this large, 3-D Steampunk style box in the show.

nailsinwallbeautifulpowerjan2017

Fairyland goes “Glimmerdark”!

If you’re like me, you love fantasy, sci-fi, and to just somehow believe that other worlds do exist containing magical beings and mystical places.  Well, fantasy & Steampunk entrepreneur  Jeff Mach believes it and has helped create these universes here on Earth…and his newest creation is the Faire called GLIMMERDARK!  Here he tells us about it in his own words…
What do you do when you’re ending the world’s largest indoor Renaissance Faire?  When the event and project which have defined your life for literally a decade have lived their course?
You go to Fairyland.
I created Wicked Faire to try to make a place where it was safe for you to be anything.  If you could imagine it, if it worked in your head canon, you were invited here.  If the outside world didn’t understand you, didn’t want you to dress the way you want to dress, didn’t want you to be who and where you were – Wicked Faire was a home.
Glimmerdark is that.  Only on fairy dust.   And fairy dust is pretty much the most potent and transformative element in the world.
Every other Fairy Festival I’ve seen is: “Step into the world of the Fae”.  Glimmerdark is the only one that says, “The Fae want more out of life.  They’re stepping out of Fairyland and we’ve all got this massive hotel for a three day party.
If you check out our entertainment, our entertainment list is absolutely massive.  This is a tremendous festival, and since it’s first-year prices, it’s cheap as fairy dirt (which is just slightly more expensive than regular dirt.)
I’m always looking for new ways to build and use creativity.  Fairyland called.  And I answered.  For more info. and to get tickets, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1683805541908177/
The event will be:
Feb 3, 2017 at 2 PM to Feb 5, 2017 at 5 PM at the

Hyatt Regency Princeton

102 Carnegie Ctr, Princeton, New Jersey 08540
And here’s a glimpse into Jeff’s Glimmerdark world….